Some 100 emerging entrepreneurs with the aim of expanding or launching their businesses will be experiencing a hands-on, immersive and completely interactive training at a three-day camp called the HSN American Dreams Academy. The event will take place at the University of Tampa on January 24 to 26, 2018.

Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, headlines this year’s training.

Elite Group of Entrepreneurs

The applicants have been screened and selected from a long list all over the United States. Participants must have developed or are in the process of developing a product or product line for retail. Entrepreneurs who currently only have an idea for a business or business plan for their product were also given a chance to submit their application.

The HSN American Dreams Academy is an experiential meeting of minds for aspiring businessmen. The initiative is backed by New York-based invention company, Quirky. The company is an incubator for ideas and innovations. In fact, the summit has an optional third day where attendees can pitch their products to a panel of experts from the University, lifestyle retailer HSN, and Quirky- similar to “Shark Tank”.

Second Run

The bold initiative began in November 2017. The first American Dreams Academy was held at American University, in Washington, DC, during National Entrepreneur Month. It was created to facilitate the entry of more entrepreneurs into various industries while collaborating with partners to help them bring their products and innovations to the market.

For the second event held in January 2018, HSN partnered with The University of Tampa’s John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, Sykes College of Business, and Quirky.

The summits are planned for every three months at different locations across America.

What to Expect

The actual training sessions run for two days, a full eight hours each. The attendees are given informational and educational materials to orient them on the basics of quality assurance, manufacturing, production, branding, legal, marketing, presenting concepts, and social media promotion. The optional third day is where participants prepare and give their product pitches to a panel of experts. Their products are reviewed and given feedback. Some of them may have a chance to get an offer from HSN to carry their product and introduce it to millions of American consumers.

Apart from the attendees, the product pitch day is also open to other guests. Graduates of the Academy are given priority.

This year’s session will be keynoted by businesswoman Randi Jayne Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder, mark Zuckerberg. Prior to working for her brother’s company, she was a panellist on Forbes on Fox. Right now, she runs Zuckerberg Media, editor-in-chief (EIC) of Dot Complicated, a digital lifestyle website, as well as creator of Dot.  She is the author of Spark Your Career in Advertising, Dot Complicated and Dot.

The training is free, but participants will have to shoulder their own air fare, room and board during the period.

 

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